The Muscat de Rivesaltes AOC
overs 90 communes in the Pyrenees-Orientales and the nine communes in the Aude bordering the Pyrenees-Orientales département. It is bounded to the east by the Mediterranean, to the south by Spain and to the west by the Canigou foothills.
The soils are composed of granitic and gneissic sand:
- Brown and black schist
- in the Agly mountain ridge to the northwest and at the foot of the Albères.
- Red clay-limestone soils in the foothills of the Corbières.
- Sandy-clay molasses in the Aspres and stony terraces alongside the rivers.
This appellation produces sweet white wines from the Muscat à Petits Grains and the Muscat of Alexandria grape varieties. Powerful and intense, the Muscat of Alexandria produces big wines, with aromas of ripe fruit, fresh grapes and roses. Fine and fresh, the Muscat à Petits Grains produces aromas of exotic fruit, mint and lemon.
The colour and flavours of the Muscat de Rivesaltes vary depending on the proportion of each grape variety used, the terroir, the winemaking and their age. Young Muscats are pale gold with aromas reminiscent of peach, lemon, mango and mint. After a few years, their colour takes on amber tints and their aromas evolve to honey and candied apricot. The Muscat de Noël (Christmas Muscat) is the first Muscat de Rivesaltes of the year, obtained after tasting the wines from the last harvest. It is sold from the third Thursday of November until the end of January.